is there software to keep track of working hours


If you are looking for apps to track employee hours to determine how productive your employees are, you’ve come to the right place. Time tracking software is a great way to help employees tie their work to the success of the company. There are many ways to keep track of time, depending on your business and goals. Let’s consider some things when looking for time tracking software.

Keeping track of work hours and pay

Time trackers have been around since 1888 when the first time clock was invented. Industrial workers had to punch in and out of their working shift to keep track of work hours and pay. As work evolved, time tracking became a critical strategy in other industries like legal services and consulting, where clients pay for access to expertise by the hour. Businesses focused on services needed a way to track work hours and deliver across multiple clients and projects.  Tracking worker productivity became a crucial element of business success, as businesses could charge multiple clients a premium for their services while spreading the cost of employee salaries across various clients. Tracking time down to the minute (and ensuring workers were as productive as possible) could make or break a business’ bottom line.

While time tracking technology has evolved, its primary purpose remains: online time trackers capture employees' work hours and determine their pay. Suppose your business allocates employee pay across multiple clients to measure profit and loss. In that case, your time tracking software must integrate closely with your chart of accounts. If you already have ERP software in place, it might make sense to see if a time tracking module is available.

Keep track of work hours by location

The best time tracking apps make it easy for employees to capture their hours worked without disrupting their workflow. If you have employees that travel to work sites, like in construction, make sure that the time tracking software you choose includes advanced features in the app, like employee time tracking with GPS. It’s a great way to capture their time on-site without them having to manually record those details. It’s also one less headache for your accounting team, making it easy to calculate and reimburse mileage to and from the worksite without chasing down your employees.

Keep track of work hours by project

Project managers must ensure client projects remain on time and within budget to make the business profitable. Time tracking software is one tool they can use to answer those questions in real-time. Suppose you're a project manager who's juggling multiple projects and teams. In that case, you already understand that time tracking software is great - but only if your teams use it diligently.

Before purchasing any time tracking software, you should ask these questions:

  • How do I currently keep track of my work hours? As a leader, setting an example is important, especially if you suspect your employees might resist tracking work hours. Show them how you track your hours and how those insights have helped you perform your job better.
  • How do I currently track my employees’ working hours? Before you invest in a complicated time tracking system, take stock of how you’re tracking employee time today. What’s working? What needs to be fixed? This will help scope your requirements before speaking with vendors.
  • What will I learn from our time tracking data? Are you looking for insight into project profitability? Or do you suspect there are 'time vacuums' like pointless meetings that eat a lot of time but do not yield any results? Prioritizing your goals for implementing a time tracking system is essential based on what you hope to achieve or learn from the data.

Getting started with tracking work hours

If you and your team are new to tracking work hours, and your business doesn't require you to track your client's work hourly, keeping track of work hours using a spreadsheet like Excel might make sense. Essentially, you're using Excel as a timesheet tracker to calculate hours worked, not as a method for billing client projects.

Finding the best time tracking software is about how you work

There is no best app for tracking work hours. There are hundreds of apps to choose from, so deciding which app depends on how you work. Suppose you're a Project Manager or Business Owner and need to track several projects so that you can bill clients. In that case, look for a time tracker that integrates with your invoicing system or ERP. If you're a freelancer and don't switch between different clients and projects all day, the most important thing you should look for might be a simple time tracking template you can update in Excel or Google.

The bottom line is this - if your goal is to ensure everyone's working hours are spent more efficiently, then time tracking software can shed some light on what's happening in your business.